brilliant musician

The birth of 'Hamilton,' told by the man who was in the room where it happened

In May 2009, my friend Jeremy McCarter made me sit down and watch a video of the now-famous rendition Lin-Manuel Miranda gave at the White House of the opening song of “Hamilton.” At the time, the song was all that existed of the show, and its first performance took place in front of Barack and Michelle Obama. (The president later suggested that he should get a Tony along with the “Hamilton” producers, since the show had begun its development at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)

The song pierced me, thrilled me and converted me. I had been completely oblivious to the size and scope of Lin’s genius, and in 4 minutes and 32 seconds I was awakened from my dogmatic slumbers. It was immediately apparent that Lin had hit upon a subject and a form that were brilliantly suited to each other…

Years before “Hamilton” opened at the Public on Feb. 17, 2015, I had been comparing Lin to Shakespeare. Each of them took the language of the common people and elevated it into verse, thereby ennobling both the language and the characters who spoke it. They both told the founding stories of their nation in a way that recognized everyone, of all classes, as citizens. They both employed a freedom of form that was exhilarating and masterful.

But Shakespeare and Lin also refused to be completely pinned down, leaving their narratives open to interpretation and constantly renewed debate. Leaving them, in short, entirely human.

Lin gathered around him an amazing group of collaborators, each of whom was essential to this show.

Alex Lacamoire, orchestrator and music director, the curly-haired cherub I saw at the piano in that first clip of Lin at the White House, is not only a brilliant musician but a deeply loving collaborator. He shares so much musical DNA with Lin that he was able to express all the diverse musical influences of the music while always making it feel like one score.

Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography adds a dimension to Hamilton that I’ve never seen before — a form of abstract but profound narrative that continually supports and enhances the story. His dancing dramaturgy would become a profound piece of the show.

Jeffrey Seller is the commercial producer who has been attached to Lin and his work for Lin’s entire career. I would come to treasure Jeffrey as a partner: His brilliant commercial instincts were matched by his deep commitment to supporting the show in becoming the best possible version of itself.

And guiding the entire ship was Tommy Kail, Lin’s friend, fellow Wesleyan graduate and the director of “Hamilton.” It was with wonderment and awe that I watched Tommy direct. I have never seen a director more able to inspire the best possible work from everyone around him, more willing to let the best idea win in any debate, more able to lead from vision and principle. He is a miracle.

Obviously, there were many other vital contributors to this show, but it was these four, along with Lin himself, who were the leadership. I was privileged to be among them.

“Hamilton” is a brilliant musical, and a brilliantly entertaining one. But it is more than that because it was created by the huge and generous hearts of the artists who made it, most of all Lin himself. Broadway musical numbers, hip-hop and Beatle-esque ballads all seem to belong together, because they are all things Lin loves. In that way, the form of this amazing musical manifests the egalitarian angels of this country. It doesn’t just speak of a nation where we all belong; it creates it onstage. May it inspire all of us to make our country as good as “Hamilton.”

[Source]

Lúcio is a brilliant musician obviously but he’s also incredible with tech? I just wanna put that out there for a sec

Companies now have all kinds of shit they pull so that ONLY the people who’ve bought the license can use their tech. (And sometimes, so that those people have to repurchase the license after an expiration period, because why the fuck not squeeze all the money out of people you possibly can?)

That’s got to be even worse in the corporate dystopia hellscape that is the Overwatch universe post-Omnic Crisis. And the Vishkar Corp. is EXACTLY the type of company that would load up all their specially patented tech with everything they can to stop anyone else from using it or figuring out how it works.

So – Lúcio stealing & repurposing Vishkar tech isn’t even just a matter of, lifting a physical object (which is itself a pretty significant accomplishment) – he would’ve had to hack and/or rebuild extensively any tech he got to make it usable. To override security blocks, to pull out any kind of self-destruct mechanism or internal functioning obstacle, to repair the damn things to keep them functional when planned obsolescence starts kicking in (and you can bet they were never intended to be repaired – so he would have had to figure out what all the parts do, and how to replace them when they’re hyper-specialized proprietary nonsense, himself).

Like, I know the term “hacker“ has gone kind of memetic, but REALLY Lúcio is a hacker in the purest of senses, a straight-up technical genius, and it would be super cool to see that acknowledged more

I remember literally screaming the first time I heard Lin’s demo of “Helpless.”
— 

Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater

The birth of ‘Hamilton,’ told by the man who was in the room where it happened (L.A. Times):

In May 2009, my friend Jeremy McCarter made me sit down and watch a video of the now-famous rendition Lin-Manuel Miranda gave at the White House of the opening song of “Hamilton.” At the time, the song was all that existed of the show, and its first performance took place in front of Barack and Michelle Obama. (The president later suggested that he should get a Tony along with the “Hamilton” producers, since the show had begun its development at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)

The song pierced me, thrilled me and converted me. I had been completely oblivious to the size and scope of Lin’s genius, and in 4 minutes and 32 seconds I was awakened from my dogmatic slumbers. It was immediately apparent that Lin had hit upon a subject and a form that were brilliantly suited to each other. By reimagining the birth of our nation through a Founding Father who was a bastard immigrant orphan from the West Indies, a self-made man who not only preached independence but manifested in his life the freedom and possibilities that America allowed, Lin was putting the revolutionary back in the American Revolution. By using the language of the streets to tell the story of our country, Lin was reclaiming that story as a tale that belonged to all people, not just the powerful. By writing with wit and irreverence about a subject obfuscated and ossified in the history books, he brought the tumult of the late 18th century to contemporary life.

What followed, for me, was three years of trying to convince Lin to come work on “Hamilton” at the Public Theater, where I have been artistic director since 2005. His initial strategy for deflecting me was simple: “It isn’t a show, it’s a concept album. Maybe the show will come after the album?” I thought this was a line developed for the sole purpose of putting me off. Later I recognized a deeper truth: It was a way for Lin to keep his voice free, his impulses open, without having to feel the pressure of writing a book for a musical. As long as they were just songs, there was no obligation to link them all seamlessly in the telling of the story.

[…]

The structure of the first act was always clear, indeed laid out in that very first song Lin wrote, which gets Hamilton from birth to New York City; the rest of the act brings us to George Washington appointing him to be the first secretary of the Treasury. We could have taken an act break after the winning of the Revolutionary War, and certainly “Yorktown” felt like a fantastic first act curtain, but it was clear we needed to set up the stakes for the second act before letting the audience go. The first act was creating a nation; the second act would be building a nation.

The structure for the second act was much less obvious. Ron Chernow had narrated Hamilton’s life in his magisterial biography, and his book provided a powerful spine for the action. Nonetheless, the show needed to focus on the dramatic journey at the heart of our hero’s tale, and formulating that dramatic action correctly was our most important task. For me, the most successful articulation was this:

Hamilton is driven by both personal ambition and by idealism, and for most of his life the two were inseparably intertwined. When public disgrace and personal tragedy seem to overwhelm him, he must choose between his own interests and the good of the country. At the cost of his own life, he chooses his country.

[…]

Lin gathered around him an amazing group of collaborators, each of whom was essential to this show.

Alex Lacamoire, orchestrator and music director, the curly-haired cherub I saw at the piano in that first clip of Lin at the White House, is not only a brilliant musician but a deeply loving collaborator. He shares so much musical DNA with Lin that he was able to express all the diverse musical influences of the music while always making it feel like one score.

Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography adds a dimension to Hamilton that I’ve never seen before — a form of abstract but profound narrative that continually supports and enhances the story. His dancing dramaturgy would become a profound piece of the show.

Jeffrey Seller is the commercial producer who has been attached to Lin and his work for Lin’s entire career. I would come to treasure Jeffrey as a partner: His brilliant commercial instincts were matched by his deep commitment to supporting the show in becoming the best possible version of itself.

And guiding the entire ship was Tommy Kail, Lin’s friend, fellow Wesleyan graduate and the director of “Hamilton.” It was with wonderment and awe that I watched Tommy direct. I have never seen a director more able to inspire the best possible work from everyone around him, more willing to let the best idea win in any debate, more able to lead from vision and principle. He is a miracle.

[…]

First Lady Michelle Obama came to the show at the Public. As I was walking her down to the Green Room to meet the cast, she said to me, “This is the greatest work of art I have ever seen, in any medium.” My joy was immediately tempered by my crushing realization that I was the only one who had heard her say it. But a year later, when the entire company were guests of the Obamas at the White House, she said it again, word for word, on national TV.

On that same trip, I had the joy of watching Chris Jackson, our brilliant original Washington, sing “One Last Time” directly to President Obama, less than a year before Obama would leave office. There was not a dry eye in the room, and when the president thanked us, he finished by saying, “Let’s teach ’em how to say goodbye.”

“Hamilton” is a brilliant musical, and a brilliantly entertaining one. But it is more than that because it was created by the huge and generous hearts of the artists who made it, most of all Lin himself. Broadway musical numbers, hip-hop and Beatle-esque ballads all seem to belong together, because they are all things Lin loves. In that way, the form of this amazing musical manifests the egalitarian angels of this country. It doesn’t just speak of a nation where we all belong; it creates it onstage. May it inspire all of us to make our country as good as “Hamilton.”

relive the #bam4ham performances (& the #bam4ham magic in general) & read Oskar’s full essay

This is a reminder that I freaking love the whole ridiculously talented and hard-working team that is Great Comet?? The leads? Astonishing. The ensemble? Incredible. The swings? Fabulous. The musicians? Brilliant. All of the crew and creatives? Fantastic, wonderful. Dave Malloy? A literal genius

I love them all

We Once Were (1/?) | Tom Holland

Request: could i get an imagine where the reader and tom used to date back in high school and now she’s a famous singer so they broke up when their careers took off and she wrote an album about him and they meet again at a party or something and it’s full of angst? 


Pairing: Tom Holland x Famous Artist!Reader 


Summary: A stellar actor and a brilliant musician both chased dreams that led them apart. What happens when those same dreams bring them back together? (a lot of angst) 


 A/N: i think this is my favorite request so far i actually put off writing this because i did not want to mess it up oops so thank you to the amazing anon who sent it in! 

part 2 / request here / masterlist

People often underestimate the impact of art in their lives. No, not the paintings on the walls, nor the sketches on notepads, but the music on albums in the car and the films that fill cinemas. Both you and Tom dedicated your lives to this art. Both you and Tom worked blood, sweat, and tears to get to where you were. A part of you just wished it happened some other way.

You and Tom were high school sweethearts. You were everyone’s favorite couple roaming the halls with hands intertwined and smiles ever-present. You with your guitar in hand and him with a script, you took on your dreams head first and steadfast, not noticing the way it put tension on your relationship until it became too much. You could not place exactly when or how it ended but you remembered the pain like it was yesterday. You could almost hear the whispers murmuring rumors of how the iconic duo broke up. 

You wished any one of them were true, maybe it would not have hurt as much. But no one ever got it right. Two roads diverged and you fell in love. Two roads intertwined and he was on top of the world. Two roads with different destinations eventually separate, no matter how close they were at one point. You hated that it had to be you and Tom.

Tom was not any better. At the time, he disappeared from the hallways, only appearing in classes with the same black hoodie he loved too much. He never wanted to let his love for acting come in between his love for you but it reached a point where the end was inevitable and approaching fast. One conversation led to many nights of fights and tears and emotions until it came to an abrupt stop.

It was years later when you decided to rehash the scars from ages ago. Your band had been in the middle of writing your fourth album when a note hit and your words were flowing out like rainfall. You could never hate Tom, you still supported him and his career from miles away. You never talked but you knew he listened to your songs, just as he knew you watched his movies. It was an unconditional promise of support you both kept. No matter where you were, who you were with, what you were doing, you were there for each other. Even if the best you could do was see a film or listen to music.

Your words were never meant to provoke outrage or hate, in fact it was written as a pure form of storytelling. You bled lyrics into songs, you performed your heart out on stage, and you carried the weight of things you wished you said back when there was something to save. Your band’s latest album was really personal to you, thankfully your band was respectful enough to keep the details of its inspiration behind closed doors.

The first time Tom heard your new album was in a grocery store. The single was vague enough to keep outsiders quiet but specific enough for him to pinpoint the days you sang about. From holding hands to holding phone lines that never rang, from long and lonely nights coupled with even colder fights, the words we left to hang. Tom left the store immediately and drove home as fast as the law would allow it. He spent the next few days decoding every word you said, hoping somewhere it would give him the strength to pick up the phone.

Your band’s record company threw you a big party to celebrate your album climbing the charts and how it was absolutely wrecking record sales. You were so grateful for all the love but also felt so much of the weight fall off your shoulders. You would be lying if you said you were happier about the former. You did not take time to think that you felt emptier.

Tom heard of this party. A close friend of his was signed to the same label. It took a lot of convincing to get Tom to even think about going, he was not going to lie, he was being childishly stubborn. After a few–a lot–of long talks with Harrison, he finally agreed to attempt to tie up those loose ends he desperately wanted to weave again. To say he was nervous would be a flat out lie. He was ready to faint and his heart felt like it could burst at even the mention of your name.

~~

(part two!)

“The Beatles didn’t exist to be pinup boys for teenage girls, and they still don’t. They’re musicians, not models. Stop objectifying them and stop determining worth based on your perception of their SA. “

Attention I’m gonna channel in my Teenage Snob Ass™ to respond to this bullshit

The Beatles were a fucking boyband and most of their target audience consisted of young girls, let’s not kid ourselves. the fact that some of you think they’re some sort of brilliant musicians just because they were among the first ones to have experimented with some chord progressions just proves to me that yall care more about form and not content. Archetypes exist in order for things to develop from -there-, saying that you’re a fan of the archetype instead of the more finite, chiseled, complex product just proves to me that you’re a hipster not a music listener. After years of listening to music that’s far more complex, more intelligently ‘designed’, with actual meaningful and smart lyrics i can honestly say The Beatles is a bland boring band. Were they good in the 60s? Possibly, I wasn’t there. But in the year 2017 after seeing bands:

  • singing in akkadian
  • combining folk with metal
  • combining opera with growling
  • incorporating medieval sounds into modern music
  • using pauses in order to create an original sound that can be recognized anywhere

well after this i can honestly say the beatles bore me to death and on top of all that they’re also ugly. at least harry styles from one direction caused some tingling in my genital area with his solo album so there you go. fuck you and your precious musicians

people who put a label on freddie mercury even though he didn’t really want to be called anything

people who act like mary austin was his ONLY love interest and ignore his boyfriends

people who make baseless claims about freddie’s personal life or childhood to “make straight white boys mad” (you know what post i’m talking about)

people who reduce him down to just another victim of AIDS rather than respect him for the brilliant musician and composer he was, not to mention how kind those who knew him said he was

Three Days is not Long Enough to Deal with this Crap

Listen, don’t judge me, it was a dumb thought. It wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s 1 freaking 15 in the morning. I want sleep. This stupid thing wouldn’t leave me alone. So I’m flinging it at you all. Good night.


Otherwise known as the birth of another AU, I have no idea what to call it, but I’ll think of something probably.


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04.13.17 I am terribly saddened to learn of the death of my friend the brilliant musician Mika Vainio. Mika was a founder of the influential Finnish group Pan Sonic and a prolific solo artist. RIP.

Honeymoon Express
I’ve been reminded that Honeymoon Express, the song I co-wrote with my sister Wendy has an anniversary this month! Wendy and I wrote it months before the release of the W&L debut record, in fact this was a track that neither Wendy, Lisa or myself would have known that in only a few months down the road would find its way onto the first W&L record.
The Galpin studio was so fertile during this time in music history, in fact, Prince and I had finished Crystall ball a few weeks prior to wendy and I going in to record. Prince was on his way to Los Angeles when I asked him if Wendy, Lisa and myself could use the studio while he was away. Prince, was excited for us to use the studio and called Susan Rodgers to ask if she’d engineer the session for us. Wendy started basic tracking first. She started the track with the BASS LINE!!!! This is where her infamous Bass playing would prove to Prince what an extraordinary bad ass bass player wendy was and IS!
Prince asked me to pick him up at the MN airport a few days later and right away he asked if i had a tape. The intro to the song is Wendy’s Bass line. I had my eyes on Prince while he listened.The smile on Prince’s face when the bass line came in was huge!!!!! Then hearing Lisa’s keyboard arrangements. Then all of the vocals. Watching Prince listen to Honeymoon Express, was beautiful. He had a special look on his face that to anyone who knew him would think whatever he was hearing ,was something funky, intensely musical and swirling in it’s own orbit. Moreover, it was usually his music that he experienced that way. But this was W&L!! I sang on this track, co/wrote the track, but, don’t get me wrong this wasn’t about me, this was Wendy and Lisa and in some ways Prince’s love for these two brilliant musicians. Who started their solo musical careers with Honeymoon Express at the Galpin house in Chanhassen MN.
Love and Kindness,
Susannah

anonymous asked:

Hello! My favorite character is Austria and one of my headcanons about him is that his body coordination is extremely good. That means he isn't just a brilliant musician and gifted dancer, but also very good at fencing.

He always lands on his feet like a cat. If he does fall, it’s graceful and dramatic! 

anonymous asked:

It was a lot of rubbish over nothing. At first I was pointing out that I found it annoying that yet again a post about him was made about his sexuality, rather than it being about his talent, and then it turned into me being apparently biphobic because I wanted to "deprive people of the knowledge he was bi" which is something I personally disagree with anyway, and ofc the whole adopted thing which came of nowhere which i'm still confused about. I said it was a mess, they got offended and yelled.

They tend to, don’t they?

First things first, I’d like to correct a couple of things, because 90% of the comments are bullshit, and people keep spreading false information and it annoys me. 

Freddie Mercury was born in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Not Sri Lanka, Zambia or other weird things I’ve heard before. Here is a photo of his birth certificate… just in case. As you can see, his birth name is actually Farrokh Bulsara, but that’s not the point.

Many people talk about his heritage. This is very important - he was Persian. So if you want to shove it down people’s throats (”your precious white singer was Indian!!!)”, at least shove accurate information down their throats. Also, don’t. 

“To an English mind, Asian means Indian. It doesn’t in Freddie’s particular case, he was Persian by ancestry. He was accused of denying his Indian heritage. I don’t think he ever did, but if he did, it would have been because he was Persian.” -  Roger Cooke, his brother-in-law.

“Freddie was a Parsee and he was proud of that, but he wasn’t particularly religious.”  - Jer Bulsara, his mother. 

And just for the record - no, he wasn’t adopted.

Fast forward to 1974. Killer Queen becomes a major hit - and for a very good reason. Freddie rarely explained what his songs were about, but this one is an exception.

“It’s about a high class call girl. I’m trying to say that classy people can be whores as well.” - Freddie Mercury, 1974.

I know he said that he’d  “prefer people to put their interpretation upon it”, but there’s a difference between “it’s about a drag queen” and “he’s singing about a woman so he must be into women”. He also wrote about bicycles, but that doesn’t mean he wanted to bang bicycles. 

And now, to the most annoying topic: his sexuality. I hate talking about this, because you know what? it’s none of your fucking business. No, it’s not “bi erasure” and no, it’s not “depriving people of the knowledge he was bi” - it’s bullshit. You don’t know. You assume; it’s not a fact, and it never will be, because it was his private life. He didn't talk about it in public, and therefore - you don’t know.

Stop spreading your speculations and call them facts. 

You want to know what the facts are?

  • He had girlfriends.
  • He had boyfriends.
  • (He also had cats).
  • It was his life, not yours.
  • THAT’S IT.

I don’t know if he was gay. I don’t know if he was bisexual. I don’t know if he was pansexual. I don’t know, and neither do you

A while ago I posted a gifset about Freddie’s smile, because I fucking love his smile. I think it’s wonderful and beautiful and can light up the room. You know what happened? people started talking about his sexuality. Again.

Freddie was so much more than your fucking poster boy. He was a brilliant musician and an incredible human being. He was sweet and caring and loving and beautiful and incredibly talented.

He chose not to come out. He chose to keep it to himself, and you DON’T have the right to decide what he was. Grow the fuck up.

So yes. I agree with you. You’re not being unreasonable, darling. Not at all. 

anonymous asked:

Hey! I'm having a bit of a problem with representation. Originally, 1 of my 5 MCs was to be Indian, like me. But when I started to develop this character, she turned out to be too close to me, & it was harder to make her as morally gray as she needed to be. So last minute I changed her name to an American one, & I can't really reverse it. I've thought of making her biracial, but I've already got 2 characters like that. I've got other races covered w/my other characters. What should I do? Thanks!

Hey there!

There’s a couple different points I want to touch on with your ask. First, what changing her name to “American” could mean for your character, and secondly, how you differentiate your character from yourself. [And a tiny note about tokenism with a great post for reference].

You mentioned that you changed your character’s name, and now you can’t reverse it. Trust me, I’ve done that before. When you’ve been planning/writing a story with your character’s name being one thing, it’s difficult to just swap in a new name without your view of the character changing drastically. Like a close friend suddenly asking you to call them something else. So let’s assume that whatever name you chose is one that you’re stuck with. 

“American” doesn’t inherently mean white, and she doesn’t need to be biracial white/something else in order to have an American name. You can still make her a diverse character if that’s what you’re wanting, without making her Indian or even Indian American. She could be a whole host of ethnicities while still having an American name. 

Also, make sure you track the etymology of the name you’re using. Behind the Name: Etymology is a website where you can type the name in and see the origin of the name, and the variations of the name across other cultures/languages. The name you’re using may not be as “American” as you think it is. 

Don’t let your character’s name restrict you to one type of person. Names are influenced by a variety of things, even outside of cultural/ethnic influences. And Americans come from so many different ancestral backgrounds that you really aren’t that limited when it comes to diversity. 

Onto my second point: You said you were afraid of her becoming too close to being you, but there are several ways you can distance her from you without changing her ethnicity. She could have had an entirely different childhood to your own, with different familial and societal influences. The presence or absence of parents, whether or not the character has siblings, where each of you actually grew up, not to mention your hobbies/interests. Maybe you aren’t great at drawing, so make her an amazing artist. Maybe she’s not a big reader. Maybe she’s into science or technology, or maybe she’s a brilliant musician, or maybe she’s super outdoorsy. And then also think about her weaknesses. What are some things that you are really good at that she could be not so good at?

Then there’s also her personality. If you’re the quiet type, then perhaps she’s more outgoing. On average, are you more serious or jokey? She could be the opposite. Think of other ways that you could distance the character from who you are and from your own personal life experiences other than changing her ethnicity.

My note/not-note on tokenism is to be careful about having only one character of each race represented. Even if you need to add a parent/sibling in for brief moments to show various representations.  

I’m quoting from a post on Diversifying a White Cast from @writingwithcolor.

“Tokenism is when you have one person of said race in your story and that’s it. One Black guy. One Asian girl. Yet lo and behold five White characters…tokenism works a little different when everyone is essentially a token in the main cast, but as a general rule I think the best way to avoid tokenism is to, of course, have more than one character of a particular race.” -Mod Collette

I encourage anyone to read the whole post that I linked above for more information about this topic. The wise Mod Collette suggests that tokenism is more complex when every character is of a different race, so the point I made is up for debate. 

My final word to the anon…

You’ve been working with this character for a long time it seems like. Close your eyes. Imagine a scene with this character doing anything. Getting dressed, meeting friends, having a cup of coffee, saving the world… What do you see in your head? Can you see her face? What does she look like? 

In this case, I think you should follow whatever vision you see of this character. I think you can find ways to make her name work while still being diverse, even if the name is American. 

-Rebekah